Groups Launch COVID-19 Clinical Trials in Seattle

Human trial will enroll about 100 patients

April 2, 2020By Rob Smith


Human trial will enroll about 100 patients

Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute is aggressively seeking treatment options for COVID-19.

The institute is partnering with New Jersey-based Celularity Inc. and is launching an immunotherapy study that could be a promising treatment for the virus. The Washington State Department of Health reports that the state has 5,984 confirmed cases as of March 31, with 247 deaths.

The treatment, which just received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, is based on the administration of immune cells known as Natural Killer cells, which have proven effective in early studies in leukemia and multiple myeloma patients.

Those so-called “NK” cells were lower in patients with severe cases of COVID-19.

“To date, efforts to treat COVID-19 cases have been primarily focused on antiviral medications,” says Infectious Disease Research Institute CEO Corey Casper. “While these are important, patients with serious disease may not respond completely to antiviral medications because they are experiencing damage already inflicted on the body’s vital organs.”

The Infectious Disease Research Institute is a nonprofit global health organization founded in 1993. It has 55 employees and more than 100 partners and collaborators around the globe.